August 11, 2007
Bicycling BookLovers of BookCrossing
Do you love to read?
Do you Bicycle?
Do you think the idea of spreading the Joy of Reading is a cool one?
What would you think if I told you there was a way to Spread the Joy of Reading while Bicycling?
What would think if I told you there are people all around the world doing what I described doing, 7 times, in my recent adventure along the coast?
What would you think if I told you there are Cyclists who don't think twice about taking a couple dozen books with them on a 25, 50, 100 mile, or more, ride, and setting them free for others to find, and maybe enjoy reading?
I know, I know, you're thinking... What the ? ;-D
Since February 2005 I have been a member of a worldwide community of book lovers, from most countries in the world, all ages, and all walks of life. ;-D
1st there was Phototag.org for tracking the travels of disposable cameras, and Where's George, for keeping track of those globetrotting gents named George, Andrew, Abe, and Ulysses, and the rest of their Currency Commrades.
6 years ago something new was born, and it is very cool, very stimulating, and edumicational, as well.
As the site says: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single release."
In April 2001 Ron Hornbaker launched a website to share his love of a good book.
The idea is a simple one: Read a book, then instead of tossing it in the trash, giving it to the library, or to a friend, or relative, pass it on to a total stranger!
Do this by leaving it on a park bench, in the breakroom at work, on a bus, or train seat, in an office waiting room, a public restroom, or in any number of other public places where the little, or not so little, darling will be found.
Outfitted with a special bookplate, tracking number, and a note explaining the concept so the next person will know what to do if so inclined, the book can be tracked as it randomly travels from city to city, and even nation to nation, around the world.
Over 577,000 people have "released" over 4 million books "into the wild", and the term "bookcrossing" has its own category in the Google Directory, and is listed in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.
BookCrossing won two 2005 Webby's People's Voice awards for the Community and the Social/Networking categories.
When a book is "Caught" the finder follows notification instructions, and can leave a journal entry, and the person who released the book can get notified by e-mail about the books latest encounter.
While the finder of a book is not required to do anything of the sort, we hope they will, and it is part of the fun to see when, and where, a book shows up a gain.
1 book, Released in the Wild, took over 5 years before being heard from again, and others go anywhere from 1 year to 4.
Some books travel, from state to state, and country to country, and we learn of this when they are Journaled by someone.
One of the many fun aspects is that you can be a "Hunter".
There is a list of countries with books "In the wild." After registering and releasing a book, members have the option of making Release Notes, specifying where exactly ( or approximately ) they left a book, and approximately when.
There are actually people traipsing around looking for a particular book!
This is similar to those folks leaving, finding, and cataloging, hidden items in the wilderness ( Geocaching ).
While membership is free there is a supply store for purchasing Official Bookplates of various types, and cost, if you don't want to make one of your own, and Book Release Bags, and more.
There are also Bookcrossing Meet-ups.
There is much more to this endeavor, and our Community.
Since I have no car, my bike, and the bus, take me to where I set books free.
You can learn about my "Bookshelf", my "Resurrection Project", and the Books I've Registered, and Released, here.
If you decide to join, please list Sneakeasy as the member who Referred you. ;-D
In my sidebar is a link to Wren's Crossing, an "Everything ya ever wanted to know about BookCrossing" Site. ;-D
The Home Page for BookCrossing is here, and you can explore the whole Community.
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What a wonderful idea. I've just joined.
Posted by: Fritz | Aug 13, 2007 2:07:53 PM